Breakthrough in new acceleration methods

The Particle Beam Physics Laboratory (Director, Prof. James Rosenzweig) has reported in Nature Communications a breakthrough in new acceleration methods, extending the rate of acceleration using the approach termed "dielectric wakefield acceleration" (DWA) to over 2 gigaelectron-volt per meter.

This is two orders of magnitude larger than in present radiofrequency accelerators, and thus has enormous implications for permitting compact future high energy physics colliders, shrinking LHC energy-class machines to the size of a football field.

The DWA is also a leading option for miniaturizing X-ray free-electron lasers — a concept initiated at UCLA that is now the dominant paradigm in for modern coherent X-ray imaging of atomic scale systems, with attendant ultra-fast, femtosecond time resolution.

Next generation X-ray FELs are now supported by billions of dollars of investment in the US, Europe and Asia; this work impacts the generation after, enabling much more compact and inexpensive.

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